By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: A little addition of lemon juice, salt and pepper to
green salad will help prevent cancer by increasing the anti-oxidant
activity in the body.
A research study by the city-based National Institute of Nutrition
showed that green salad prepared with lemon, salt and pepper had the
highest anti-oxidant activity among vegetable salads prepared without
these ingredients. Addition of legume sprouts to the salad will produce
the best green salad that will prevent cancer.
"Addition of lemon juice and powdered black pepper has no adverse
effect on the anti-oxidant activity of the salad prepared with legume
sprouts. In fact, the recipes developed has at least as much anti-oxidant
activity as the legume sprout per se. Indeed, the anti-oxidant activity of
salad prepared with green gram sprouts with lemon, salt and pepper
was the highest among the different salad recipes tested and the one
prepared from Bengal gram sprouts was the next best," the study
The NIN took up the study to generate data base on the antioxidant
properties of plant foods commonly consumed by the Indian
As the sprouted legumes had the highest anti-oxidant activity among all
the processed foods studies, the NIN prepared a number of salads
using the sprouts of green gram, Bengal gram and moth beans in an
attempt to develop recipes rich in anti-oxidant activity.
In all 17 different kinds of sprouted legume salads were prepared using
different permutations and combinations of different sprouts and
vegetables. The sensory evaluation of these recipes was done by 40
normal healthy, adult, human volunteers. In general all the recipes had
comparable scores for appearance, colour, flavour, texture and taste and
their overall quality and acceptability were good.
Traditional legume sprout salad recipes had significantly lower anti-
oxidant activity than the legume sprouts per se and this was observed to
be due to the presence in them of low antioxidant foods such as
capsicum, cucumber and carrots.
"Removal of these low anti-oxidant activity foods from the recipes
improved the anti-oxidant activity of the recipe. But the AOA of such
recipes were still lower than that of legume sprouts. However, addition
of more of relatively AOA rich foods such as sprouts of groundnuts
and mustard seeds did not improve the AOA of the recipe any further.
But addition of lemon, salt and pepper increased the anti-oxidant
activity," it pointed out.
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